A growing body of functional imaging studies suggests that human depression and anxiety symptoms are associated with functional abnormalities in the circuitry formed by the rostral anterior cingulate cortex (rACC) and its direct limbic and paralimbic connections. In rodents however, the role of the rACC (rCG1/rCG2) remains unknown in depression-related behaviours and elusive in acute anxiety. In order to address this, we specifically lesioned the rat rCG1/rCG2, and assessed the behavioural outcome using a modified forced swim test (FST) and the elevated plus maze (EPM), tests for depression and anxiety related behaviours respectively. Lesions of the rostra] anterior cingulate cortex significantly increased the time spent immobile in the FST without affecting climbing or swimming performances, suggesting a pro-depressant effect. On the contrary, none of the parameters measured in the EPM was affected by the lesion. These data point to an involvement of the rCG1/rCG2 in depression-related coping behaviours. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.